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Nicky Quinn


  • 169 Citations
  • 8 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer in Health Psychology, focused on the behavioural science of health behaviour change, the placebo effect, public health promotion activities, psycho-oncology and medical decision making. I graduated from my PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2016, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New South Wales. I then left academia to undertake research in industry and government for four years, working as a Senior Advisor in the Behavioural Insights Team, a social purpose research consultancy, and then the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence in the NSW Ministry of Health.

My research uses insights from psychology and behavioural economics to understand complex health behavioural problems, with the end goal to design, implement and evaluate effective interventions for individuals. I am focused on applied research, working with government and industry partners to design ready-to-scale interventions, but also have an interest in basic science and gaining understanding of the principles that underpin these successful interventions. I also believe the science of evaluation and in particular implementation science are pivotal to ensuring we maximise health, and am focused on determining how we can better find out which of our current programs and policies work, and for whom.

Research interests

Behavioural Science; Behavioural Economics; Behaviour Change; Psychosomatic Medicine; Placebo Effect; Nocebo Effect; Health Psychology; Implementation Science; Nudge; Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods.

Research student supervision

I am available to supervise students interested in topics related to my field of research. If you're interested in working together, feel free to send me an email:

Community engagement

In my government and industry roles I was focused on translating academic evidence into plain language and producing policy-relevant insights. I have worked with the Victorian Health Promotion Agency (VicHealth), the New Zealand Health Promotion Agency (HPA), the Department of Education Skills and Employment, and others, to produce policy and programs underpinned by evidence.

My research has been written up in The Mandarin, on VicHealth and HPA websites, and my PhD research was also been featured on Catalyst and Insight.

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Research Outputs

  • 169 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
  • 13 Article
  • 3 Review article
  • 1 Chapter

Autonomic arousal as a mechanism of the persistence of nocebo hyperalgesia

Colagiuri, B. & Quinn, V. F., May 2018, In : Journal of Pain. 19, 5, p. 476-486 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 16 Citations (Scopus)

    Family history-taking practices and genetic confidence in primary and tertiary care providers for childhood cancer survivors

    Wakefield, C. E., Quinn, V. F., Fardell, J. E., Signorelli, C., Tucker, K. M., Patenaude, A. F., Malkin, D., Walwyn, T., Alvaro, F. & Cohn, R. J., Apr 2018, In : Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 65, 4, 7 p., e26923.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Parent-targeted home-based interventions for increasing fruit and vegetable intake in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Touyz, L. M., Wakefield, C. E., Grech, A. M., Quinn, V. F., Costa, D. S. J., Zhang, F. F., Cohn, R. J., Sajeev, M. & Cohen, J., Mar 2018, In : Nutrition Reviews. 76, 3, p. 154-173 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)

    Protocol for the avatar acceptability study: a multiperspective cross-sectional study evaluating the acceptability of using patient-derived xenografts to guide personalised cancer care in Australia and New Zealand

    Wakefield, C. E., Doolan, E. L., Fardell, J. E., Signorelli, C., Quinn, V. F., Tucker, K. F., Patenaude, A. F., Marshall, G. M., Lock, R. B., Georgiou, G. & Cohn, R. J., Aug 2018, In : BMJ Open. 8, 8, p. 1-7 7 p., e024064.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Psychological outcomes and surgical decisions after genetic testing in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer with and without a family history

    Meiser, B., Quinn, V. F., Mitchell, G., Tucker, K., Watts, K. J., Rahman, B., Peate, M., Saunders, C., Geelhoed, E., Gleeson, M., Barlow-Stewart, K., Field, M., Harris, M., Antill, Y. C., Susman, R., Bowen, M. T., Mills, L. & Kirk, J., 30 Mar 2018, In : European Journal of Human Genetics. 26, 7, p. 972-983 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)